10 July 2005

No 17




As you know LPG has become a alternate fuel (at least in Windhoek). Since this has a much higher Octane rating, I can take advantage of that with the new UNICHIP and have alternate maps for both petrol & Gas.


Since it is highly likely that the Fuel price will go up soon, a lot of people are looking at Alternate fuels such as voco.

This is what one of my friends (who manages a large vehicle fleet) had to say:

We mostly operate Diesel engines here and try very much to put Diesel only in the tanks.

So far it has worked out with our supply arrangements (a small miracle in itself)

      What I know from other places is that Jet A1 and similar products (Kerosene) used for powering jet engines will work and the alchemists recommend a 50/50 mix with Diesel.

I am not to sure about the properties of JetA1 when it comes to lubrication and suspect that the injection pump and possibly injectors may suffer.

However, vehicle mechs and generator mechs told me that they haven't had any problems running the mix for extended time in vehicles and generators.

As we do often retire vehicles below 100000 km, the increased wear caused by improper lubrication may not have had a chance to show.


      During the time when fuel was not commercially available here in town, some of the local population used palm oil to run their Diesels.

I don't know what else they mixed in the brew to make it burn, but the formula could be sold to James Bond as an effective way of putting a smoke screen out to confuse pursuing enemies.

Not recommendable.


      What else is there?

Alcohol: Supposed to work in Ottomotoren (Petrol) but isn't it a shame to waste the good stuff? I believe that the Brazilians run their fleet mostly on alc derived from sugar cane.


Personally I once plundered my old mans hobby room, pinched 2 liters of thinner and put it in the tank of my moped. Success was so-so. it coughed a bit and ran, but not very well and gave up after a rather short while.

When looking for the reason why it stopped, I came across a floater in the carb that was halfway eaten up by the thinner and the residue was all over the jets.

Not very good!


Guess we will all stay at the mercy of the sheikhs, Bushes and the government who all want to have their fair share of our salaries.

Maybe this will convince you not to experiment too much.


I recently got talking about how much the engine Management changed on the 4 cycle Otto motor over the last 40 or so years.

Firstly we had a crude mixture adjustment device called the carburettor and something that distributed the spark to the correct cylinder at a vaguely correct moment.

As demands for increased power with lower fuel consumption grew these external devices were perfected with advances in combustion chambers, manifolds and increased compression. For me to elaborate here is beyond the scope of a simple newsletter, but you may read up about this in my Technical Articles.

Of course increased demands for reduced emissions played a vital role in the 70’s. Some curious developments were smaller cars and engines and of course magic boxes such as the Solex accelerator.

Then Fuel injection reared its head coupled to electronic ignition.

The next step was to control the fuelling and spark electronically.

Ironically little had changed inside the actual engine although researchers like Ludwig Apfelbeck (my Hero) played a crucial role here.

Some companies like Yamaha and BMW played around with variable Valve timing/intakes but these were either not robust enough or too crude.

But finally it is here on our “average” vehicles such as the new Hilux.

So now we just have to wait for the engine internals to get a facelift such as a diametrically opposed 4 valve cylinder head ?


Maybe one of you can help me here:

On my Dyno I need to pick up an RPM signal to tell the CPU where and when to brake the rear wheel.
This is normally with trigger tongs (I am using nice ones from Sun) that pick up HV signal inductively from the plug wires.
On the Isuzu KB 320 the Coil's fire each cylinder directly, so I need to pick up inductivity from the coils or use a light barrier with reflective tape.

I need some type of pickup and I don't mind modifying.


One final thing that gets me pig-biting mad; is when somebody buys their parts in South Africa, realises he got the wrong stuff and then expects me to sort out the mess.


This mail landed in my Inbox a few days back:

now then mate I have a j reg 1.3 ford festa and 1 of the tappets is pritty loose . I just need to know wot to set them at I have feeler gadge can u help me  thanks for your time hope u can help me nice 1 chap mark short

What else can I do, but reply:

I suggest you contact Ford !


Have a great day